Cajuns on Gulf Worry They May Need to Move Again

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...For the Cajuns of South Louisiana — exiled in the 1700s from French settlements in Acadia, now part of eastern Canada, for refusing to swear allegiance to the British — life along the bayous has been bittersweet, with the constant threats of lightning-quick destruction from hurricanes and floods on top of the slow-motion agony of coastal erosion.

What they got in return for their tolerance of living in what early cartographers called No Man’s Land was a world-class bounty of seafood and freedom in an environment of striking natural beauty. Now that is in jeopardy.

The oil spill has delivered a dose of misery for all those who live intimately with the land here. But for the Cajuns, whose rustic French-American culture is almost wholly dependent on the natural bayous that open to the Gulf of Mexico, it has forced the question of whether they can preserve their way of life — and if so, at what cost?...

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